That one small thing I did
What was the one small thing that you did that changed your life?
This is a recent Question of the Day at @fitnessacademyhk and one that sticks in my head for quite some time. I know what you would guess - NO, it is not exercising nor Crossfit. I can go on for ages about them but maybe in another post because…
being determined enough to get up early every morning to work out before work for 1.5 years
drag my tired body and commute for another 45 minutes to and from Gym (each way) to workout,
the patience required to keep grinding without seeing immediate results / improvements,
the frustration that one must withstand when they are injured (multiple times)
wake up at 5am to take ‘overnight buses’ to cross the harbour for the gym, etc.
These are not ‘small things’ that we do. Dude these are big commitments LOL!!!
That one small thing cost me 2 hours, but changed my whole perspective on something I (and you!!) use every single day.
It was a quiet Saturday night and I had nothing better to do before bed. My friend Walden recommended me a documentary, which I was initially reluctant to watch. I had already finished the book Overdressed - which gives an insightful and well rounded overview of how fashion has gone from ‘slow’ to ‘fast’ and what this had done to the economy, society, and environment. I didn’t expect anything new. I already knew the ugly truth. But that night, I thought... I might just give it a try. The one small thing that I did was to watch a documentary called “The True Cost”.
But reading about issues and seeing them with actual human faces on screen really puts things into perspectives.
What exists on paper (or at least the book I have meticulously gone through with highlights here and there) was from the perspective of an American writer (or you can generalize it to Western developed countries). It was a calm, rational, analytical and precise narrative of what is happening in the less developed markets.
But the documentary shows you what it is REALLY like there in another part of the world. It was full of emotions, sadness, anger, helplessness, suppression, and indifference. There were screams, cries, actual footage of government suppression & shooting of garment workers and photos of lives lying in ruins of a factory building.
I knew that moment I cannot look at my H&M or Zara dresses the same way.
I know some ‘friends’ would probably think I had gone mad or start teasing me for this, but let me tell you frankly - I don’t care what you think about me. It’s your choice to pay for a dress that is made with the cost of someone else’s life. It’s nothing wrong with not able to afford anything more pricey than Forever 21 or Uniqlo. But you and I both know that if you can afford a Zara / H&M which usually costs $400+ and if you can afford holding an iPhone or a branded handbag, you can afford something more sustainable and humane than a random blazer from these fast fashion giants. That big companies employs factories that forces women to work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, is not your fault, but neither is it the fault of these women. In the end, who gets the money? Not us. Who is paying? Us, but also the people who sewed the dresses, who dyed the fabric, who planted the seeds. It’s a personal choice, of course, it has always been YOUR personal choice, dear.
Not that Fast Fashion is inherently bad. It is a product of mass production, modern logistics solution, and digitized inventory control. But what I hate about it is the complete indifference of what happens to the environment, the labour, and the kind of value that they help foster in the society.
“If you’re posting something to make other people feel bad about all the stuff they aren’t doing, that’s not cool.” I've read this line from my friend @salonbyjess' IG. She said someone said that about her content, and she said she was sorry! 😔 Dear Jess, sometimes, we don't have to be sorry. I am not sorry. I am not sorry for guilt-tripping those who keeps reinforcing actions that these companies do. I am not sorry for pointing out their hypocrisy and lack of empathy. I am angry. 😡
Okay, perhaps I've gone a bit far guys. 😅HAHA midnight typing and you can't blame me for getting angry... Scenes of women screaming for their dead friends, and people cooking using liquid that you can't even call 'water' because the water is simply too polluted. How can you forget these scenes?
Anyway, getting slightly off track… So after watching that documentary, I wanted to start something, something that helps me organize my thoughts on why I hated fast fashion, and what we can do about it. What started as a cursory blabbering evolved into an urge to systematically understand fabrics, textiles, commercial aspects of making a piece of garment, consumer attitudes and perception of trends, our relationship with clothing, etc.
Compared with my other posts on skincare & cosmetics, trying to understand the impacts of fast fashion is relatively easy. I had to go through so many articles and cross-check sources to ensure what I’m putting up on skincare is accurate, but for researches on fast fashion, the facts are there, the dirty shit is there, everything is there. It’s just us, the consumers, choosing to ignore every piece of facts because we are so blinded with consumerism.
I know that the documentary is available on Netflix or at around USD10 on iTunes. If you’re still unsure, you can try the trailer below. The trailer is good, I promise! I rewatch it quite often to remind myself that there are people suffering because we decided to buy something without knowing the real impact it costs on others.